Image above: Turner Snow Storm – Steam Boat off Harbour’s Mouth 1842
Lecture series, books, articles, exhibitions, collections, film
Wednesday 21 June 2017 Julie Gough and Judy Watson: The Memory of Place (Speaker: Stephen Gilchrist, Associate Lecturer, Art History, University of Sydney) AGNSW
Themes of political invisibility, dislocation, cultural memory, politics of place.
Judy Watson (Waanyi people northwest Queensland): pigment soaked canvasses, works intuitively through listening to oral histories, travelling into country, and research of official records. The work names of the natives includes a yellow clay pot which represents contact with the Macassans in the 18th century probably over more than 200 years before European contact. bunya represents the lifecycle of regeneration.
Julie Gough (Trawlwoolway people Tasmania): work counteracts the selective accounts of Tasmanian history, her self-involvement in historical narratives, gathering the past into the present. Dark Valley, Van Dieman’s Land refers in part to the Tasmanian shell necklace tradition, a gap in the inheritance of that tradition from immediate family, and how the processes of dispossession of Country: colonisation: farming, hunting, mining are in part responsible for this gap. Made from coal ‘the darkest coldest blackness of our ancient island’s core, the antlers represent the avoidance and anxiety across Tasmania in terms of the unwillingness /inability to present colonial history as also Tasmanian Aboriginal history’. Bind, ‘a giant length of Tasmanian sagg or lomandra plant collected and twined and strung with black crow shells from four places in Tasmania. The shells are spaced to present as an unreadable calendar – indicative of months, decades, generations, events connecting Aboriginal people, places and practices in Tasmania’
Judy Watson, museum piece, 1998
Judy Watson, names of the natives, 2010
Judy Watson, bunya, 2011
Julie Gough, Dark Valley, Van Dieman’s Land, 2008
Julie Gough, Bind, 2008
Wednesday 14 June 2017 John Russell: Belle-Ile and Antibes in the fin-de-siècle (Speaker: Wayne Tunnicliffe) AGNSW
Wealthy Australian expatriate who built a grand house on Belle-Île-en-Mer off the coast of Brittany. Studied at the Slade School in London (under Alphonse Legros) from 1881 to 1883, and at the Atelier Cormon, Paris, from 1885 to 1887, where he formed a friendship with Vincent van Gogh, which resulted in the famous portrait of van Gogh (1886) now in the collection of the van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Painting at a time when French impressionism was at its height, associated with Rodin, Monet, van Gogh, Matisse, Sisley. Visitors to Belle-Ile included Monet, Rodin, Matisse. Russell spent twenty years painting at Belle–Ile–en-Mer. Influenced by Degas, cropping from photography, reference to Japanese prints (like van Gogh), intensity of colour. Paintings of Antibes feature looser brushwork, proto-fauve. Almost drowned Rodin in a boating incident, referred to in Rodin’s letter 1903.
Les Aiguilles de Belle-Ile, c 1890 AGWA
Landscape, Antibes (The Bay of Nice), 1891, NGA
Antibes, c 1890-1892, AGNSW
Storm, Belle Ile, 1905, AGNSW
Wednesday 7 June 2017 Constantin Brancusi and the Garden of Jewels (Speaker: Ron Ramsey) AGNSW
Birds in Space, purchased by the National Gallery of Australia in 1973 (more than what was paid for Blue Poles, $1.3 million, but without the media hysteria). Brancusi designed the birds for a palace temple for the Maharaja of Indore, who wanted them and two other sculptures to stand around a square mirror of water in a temple for meditation. Brancusi went to India in 1937 to begin work on the temple, but it was never built. Born in Hobița, Romania where woodcarving was a central activity. The houses were built (in a pre-industrial revolution manner) of wood without nails. Brancusi ran away from home age 11, after some years in service, went onto art school in Bucharest and then to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Romanian folk art influenced his work. He famously walked from Bucharest to near Paris, some nuns gave him money for a train ticket for the remainder of the journey. Friends and contemporaries included Amedeo Modigliani, Ezra Pound, Henri Pierre Roché, Guillaume Apollinaire, Louise Bourgeois, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Rousseau, Peggy Guggenheim and Fernand Léger. Employed in Rodin’s studio, lasted one month, disagreed with methods. Early major work The Prayer (1907), simplified form. Differentiated the essential from the ephemeral. The Kiss (1907-08) influenced by Gauguin carvings from Tahiti. The plinth is integral to the sculptures, he created bases for his works. Bird sculptures grouped under three titles: Maiastra; Golden Bird; Bird in Space. Finish and surface highly polished, edges disappear. Derived from folk tales such as The Firebird (Brancusi probably saw Diaghilev’s Ballet 1913).
The Prayer, 1907
The Kiss, 1907-08
Maiastra, 1912, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Golden Bird, 1920, Chicago Art Institute
Birds in Space, 1931-36, National Gallery of Australia
Wednesday 31 May 2017 Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico (Speaker: Denise Mimmocchi) AGNSW
Studied under Arthur Wesley Dow, emphasis on structure, density, colour, lights and darks, an alternative to realism. By the mid-1920s, O’Keeffe recognized as one of America’s most important and successful artists, known for her paintings of New York skyscrapers, an essentially American image of modernity, as well as flowers. Influenced by Japanese art and Kandinsky. In the summer of 1929, O’Keeffe made the first trip to northern New Mexico. Inspired a new direction in her artwork. Spent the last 37 years of her life in New Mexico. Minimal, powerful, cultivated sense of spirituality, influence of Indian culture, no figurative description, simplification, abstract essence of place, intimate spacing, still atmosphere, magnified image of place distilled into contours.
Wednesday 17 May 2017 Sir John Everett Millais – the Allure of Scotland (Speaker: Dr Alison Inglis, Professor of Art History, University of Melbourne) AGNSW
Child prodigy, won a place at the Royal Academy schools at age eleven. At age 19-21 one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (with William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti) un-idealised paintings, experience, truth to nature. From 1870s lived and painted in Scotland. Dramatic evocation of geology and the landscape.
Chill October (1870) early landscape time of day and seasons.
Autumn Leaves (1856) about mood and feeling
Lingering Autumn (1880) sky, space, mood.
Late landscapes innovative, reflect physical experience, move away from the sublime and picturesque. Late landscapes being re-evaluated.
Waterfall at Glenfinlas (1853)
Flowing to the River (1871)
Lingering Autumn (1880)
Wednesday 10 May 2017 Eugene von Guérard and Cape Schanck (Speaker: Dr Ruth Pullin) AGNSW
Travelled extensively made detailed drawings: Italy, Germany, Australia (28 years), New Zealand. Work captures the essence of place. Vantage points carefully selected, the picture in nature, character of place. Painted Milford Sound (1977-79) from sketches after spending one day in the location. Influenced by Alexander von Humboldt who encouraged artists to visit remote areas. Sketchbooks held by State Library NSW. Rock drawings with geological detail, understanding of geological formations. Scientists and artists visited Cape Schanck, convergence of the romantic and scientific. Accompanied several scientific expeditions. Oil sketches painted on location. Painting directly from nature part of his practice.
Castle Rock, Cape Schanck (1865)
Wednesday 3 May 2017 Caspar David Friedich, Rugen and the Northern Sublime (Speaker: Mark Ledbury) AGNSW
Northern sublime and romanticism, complex aesthetic, spiritual and political. Avid walker, contemplation of heights, panoramic views, his landscape paintings a compilation of many drawings. The concept of the sublime is more than the beautiful or picturesque, it has elements of danger, turbulence, threat, it propelled landscape painting in 18th century and beyond. Friedrich’s paintings encompass the sublime, romanticism, human smallness in nature, German folklore, often feature a vast amount of empty space.
The Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog (1818), Kunsthalle, Hamburg
The Chalk Cliffs at Rugen (1818), Museum Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur
The North Sea in Moonlight (1823-24), Narodni Galerie, Prague
Wednesday 26 April 2017 JMW Turner and the Sea (Speaker: Jane Messenger) AGNSW
First landscape exhibited Fishermen at Sea, light and mood, followed Rembrandt’s use of light. Use of light as a narrative structure, movement, light and air, experience of the sensation of place. Influenced Monet and Pissarro. Changed style in 1830s, colour beginnings, sketches in watercolour used for oil paintings, eliminated the need for underpainting. Yellow, blues, red, light over dark washes to capture atmosphere, compositional structure. In the oils use of palette knife and impasto. Burial at Sea symbolic use of colour. In his later works not interested in representation but in nature, shifting energy.
Fishermen at Sea (1796) oil
The Bass Rock (1824) watercolour
Coastal Terrain (1830-45) watercolour
Stormy Sea with Dolphins (1835-40) oil
Peace Burial at Sea (1842) oil
Snow Storm – Steam Boat off Harbour’s Mouth (1842) oil
Wednesday 5 April 2017 John Glover in Tasmania (Speaker: Dr David Hansen, ANU) AGNSW
Naturalist and ornithologist, closely observed new landscape in Australia. Among the earliest Australian landscape painters (emigrated in 1830). Influence of empire to idealise/domesticate an alien landscape into (1) Pastoral arcadia and (2) Aboriginal arcadia (set piece figure groups).
Wednesday 29 March 2017 Conrad Martens and Burragalong Cavern (Speaker: Dr Kathleen Davidson) AGNSW
Martens painted Burragalong Cavern (now called Abercrombie Caves) on site in 1843, an early practitioner of en plein air painting. The painting Stalagmites, Burragalong Cavern is a finished work not a sketch, an actual visual account which captures the mood of place. His work focussed on geology, factual depiction, analytical observation but also naturalism, modernity, the sublime, and elements of the picturesque. In 1833 as ships artist, Martens sailed on the Beagle with Charles Darwin to South America. Darwin’s empirical observation of landscape forms and climatic conditions influenced Martens’ practice.
Wednesday 22 March 2017 For Nation and Empire: George Lambert and Ibrahim Calli at Gallipoli (Speaker: Dr Andrew Yip) AGNSW
Lambert framed the image of frontier and nation and then transported this during his time as official Gallipoli artist. Contrasted with the generation of Turkish modernists (1914) led by Ibrahim çalli,
Wednesday 8 March 2017 Constable: Flatford Mill and the River Stour (Speaker: Lorraine Kypiotis) AGNSW
Landscape as contemplation, sparkle of light, drama of light and shade, natural perspective, fidelity to nature. Followed Claude Lorrain. From about 1814 painted outdoors. For his studies, painted on glass then placed paper over it to obtain the image, then drew grid on the work to use for large scale studio painting. Made full scale oil sketches for six foot paintings. Studied meteorology and produced many studies of clouds used as references for later paintings. Work praised by the French 1824 (in particular Eugène Delacroix) for attention to colour and tone. Inspired the Barbizon school and movement towards realism. Challenged the cannon of art practice in England. The oil sketches now most admired aspect of his work.
Study of the trunk of an elm tree (about 1821), Victoria & Albert Museum
Preparatory study for Flatford Mill (‘Scene on a Navigable River’) (1816-17), Tate Gallery
The White Horse oil sketch (1818-1819), National Gallery of Art, Washington
Wednesday 1 March 2017 Otagaki Rengetsu (Loutus Moon) a Japanese nun in nineteenth century Kyoto (Speaker: Melanie Eastburn) AGNSW
Revered poet, calligrapher, painter, and potter, lived (1791-1875) at he end of the Edo period and during the rise of the Meiji period (from 1868).
Thursday 23 February 2017 Art and Revolution: The Life and Death of the Russian Avant-Garde (Dr Rosamund Bartlett), AGNSW
Art and Terror in Stalinist Russia
From the last utopian dreams to the regimentation of the arts
Socialist realism: a totalitarian aesthetic
Shock brigades and Stakhanovites: the USSR in construction
The avant-garde on trial
Rodchenko – 1928 denounced ‘imperialist photography’
Shostakovich – opera The Nose 1930 – surrealist adventures of a nose. Recent performance directed by Barry Kosky, Royal Opera House, London – video available in full
Gustav Klutsis – photomontage
Pavel Filonov – in the last exhibition of the avant-garde
Aleksandr Deyneka – socialist realist
Aleksandr Gerasimov – socialist realist
Leonid Utyosov – jazz singer and comic actor
Wednesday 22 February 2017 Canaletto (speaker A/Professor David R Marshall) AGNSW
How the representation of a particular place, Venice, became a pictorial genre. Relationship between picture and place. Canaletto developed more graphic style for the British grand tourists (starting arriving around 1726), surveyed the city to create memory of place. Developed linear construction and perspective. Interesting comparison of Canaletto’s rough sketches and constructed drawings probably using camera obscura.
Bacino di S. Marco: From the Piazzetta (c. 1750), National Gallery of Victoria
The Grand Canal near the Ponte del Rialto (1725), Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Thursday 16 February 2017 Art and Revolution: The Life and Death of the Russian Avant-Garde (Dr Rosamund Bartlett), AGNSW
Towards the Cultural Revolution
The Left Front of the Arts and Constructivism in Practice
A New Dialogue with the West: Berlin, Paris
Photomontage and the Revolutionary Art of Film
Rodchenko and Steponova – 1920s design, photomontage, photography
Naum Gabo – metal and glass sculpture replaces traditional materials bronze and marble
Kurt Schwitters – used actual trash, such as broken items and scraps of paper, in his collages
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy – shaped by Dadaism, Suprematism, Constructivism
Sergey Eisenstein – film Battleship Potemkin
Wednesday 15 February 2017 Claude Lorrain (speaker Dr Lisa Beaven) AGNSW
Drawings and paintings of the Roman Campagna (the countryside around Rome). One of the first European plein air painters. Landscape paintings in the context of the topography, environmental history, and social conditions in the 17th century. Most studio work idealised paintings with elements of the Campagna during time of climate change and widespread malaria. Works usually for patrons who had substantial landholdings in the Campagna.
View of Tivoli, 1640-1
View of La Crescenza 1648-50
Thursday 9 February 2017 Art and Revolution: The Life and Death of the Russian Avant-Garde (Dr Rosamund Bartlett), AGNSW
Art Revolution under the Bolsheviks
Suprematism and Constructivism
Wednesday 8 February 2017 Nonggirrnga Marawili: Yathikpa (speaker: Cara Pinchbeck), AGNSW
Bark paintings by Nonggirrnga Marawili, the Art Centre in Yirrkala, northeast Arnhem Land – wind, water, dynamism, living landscapes
Some key art references:
Thursday 2 February 2017 Art and Revolution: The Life and Death of the Russian Avant-Garde (Dr Rosamund Bartlett), AGNSW
A Revolution in Art on the Eve of 1917
Wednesday 1 February 2017 The Power of Place for the Art Gallery of NSW (Dr Michael Brand), AGNSW
Some key art references:
David Moore (1966) Sydney Harbour gelatin silver photograph from 16,000 feet
Brett Whiteley (1975) The Balcony 2
Books and articles
John Olsen The You Beaut Country, edited by David Hurlston and Deborah Edwards, NGV, 2016
On Bullshit, Harry G Frankfurt, 2005
Landscape into Art, Kenneth Clark 1949
Green Nomads – Across Australia’s Wild Heritage, Bob Brown, 2015
Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions
By Pierre Rosenberg, Keith Christiansen, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)
A Calm and A Storm. Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions (Metropolitan Museum of Art)By The New Republic, April 23, 2008
Wallace Stegner’s “Wilderness Letter,” Wallace Stegner’s “Wilderness Letter,” written to the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, and subsequently in his “Wilderness Idea,” in The Sound of Mountain Water (1969).
The Sublime Through the Eyes of Steven DaLuz by Brandon Kralik, October 2014
Indigenous art books
Country & Western, Landscape Reimagined, Gavin Wilson, 2015
Old Masters Australia’s Great Bark Artists, National Museum of Australia, 2013
Contemporary Aboriginal Art – The AAMU and Dutch Collections, Georges Petitjean, 2010
Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson, Ngayuku Ngura My Country, Ken McGregor & Marie Geissler, 2010
Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Margo Neale, National Museum of Australia, 2008
Our Way Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Lockhart River, Sally Butler 2007
Landmarks Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Judith Ryan 2006
Colour Power: Aboriginal Art post 1984 in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Judith Ryan, 2004
The Development of Chinese Painting by James Cahill. Series of 29 lectures – UC Berkley (updated 2014)
Brushstrokes: Styles and Techniques of Chinese Painting from the Asian Art Museum
Education Department Asian Art Museum – Chong Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture (1995)
The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting. Chieh Tzu Yuan Hua Chuan 1679-1701 (Translated Mai Mai Sze 1956)
Exhibitions, collections, film
Tate Modern The rules of art according to Rauschenberg (2017)
Frank Auerbach, ArtUK public catalogue (55 artworks)
1973 documentary directed by Emile de Antonio
Dombrovskis collection of Tasmanian wilderness photographs, 1978-1995, National Library of Australia
Gordon Splits, film by wilderness photographer Peter Dombrovskis
Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis, edited excerpt from ABC TV’s Wildness website
Olegas Truchanas Lake Pedder audiovisual collection, National Library of Australia
The Franklin River Blockade – Part 1
The Franklin River Blockade – Part 2
In the Balance: Art for a Changing World, exhibition. Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2010, included David Stephenson photographs:
Drowned No. 62 (Lake Gordon, Tasmania)
Drowned No. 176 (Lake Pedder, Tasmania)
Self portrait looking down a survey cut, proposed site of Gordon below Franklin Dam, Tasmania
Zen mind, Zen brush, AGNSW Exhibition 17 June – 24 Sept 2006
Turner at the Tate (DVD) – Snow Storm – Steam Boat off Harbour’s Mouth 1842